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Posts Tagged ‘defense budget’

Lawmakers Resist Pentagon Spending Plan

  • March 9, 2014
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The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee last week both criticized DOD’s five-year spending plan for providing insufficient funds to sustain the nation’s military. “The proposal before us makes reductions in force structure and compensation that will be difficult for many to support,” Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said during the March 5 hearing on the department’s fiscal 2015 budget request. Levin cited the spending caps imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act as the primary obstacle facing the military, an assessment that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel concurred with and expanded upon …

Appropriators Eager to Move Spending Bills Early in Session

  • March 9, 2014
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The top appropriators for the House and Senate are intent on returning to regular order this year and enacting all 12 spending bills before the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year. Committee Chairs Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) met last week to coordinate their schedules for moving fiscal 2015 spending bills. Markups are expected to begin in the spring with floor action taking place over the summer …

BRAC is DOD’s Preferred Method to Address Excess Infrastructure, Spokesman Insists

  • March 9, 2014
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Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby on Friday successfully deflected a reporter’s question as to when DOD would act to eliminate excess infrastructure outside the bounds of BRAC by repeating multiple times that officials would prefer to pare down the department’s real estate portfolio through a base closure round. “The preferred method is to work with the Congress and to get another round of BRAC,” Kirby said. The reporter asked Kirby to clarify recent statements by Defense Secretary and other top officials that DOD has authorities beyond BRAC to reduce its infrastructure, but the press secretary offered very little in terms of specifics …

Air Force Cancels Major Project at Wright-Pat

  • March 7, 2014
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The Air Force has cancelled a building renovation costing between $5 million and $10 million at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, due to a lack of funding in the current year’s budget. The base’s announcement on Wednesday comes one day after the Air Force unveiled its fiscal 2015 budget request, a proposal which calls for eliminating more than 20,000 active-duty and reserve airmen and retiring more than 200 aircraft, reported the Dayton Daily News. The project, which was in its early stages, would have remodeled the 53,000-square-foot building located on the flight line, adding training rooms, offices and warehouse space. Base officials will attempt to gain funding next year, according to the story.

DOD Stuck with Sequestration, House Panelists Conclude

  • March 7, 2014
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In the 10 days since Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel outlined the department’s latest budget and associated cuts in force structure, Republican lawmakers have denounced the spending plan while Democrats have expressed reservations with the proposed changes. But despite warnings from Hagel and other top Pentagon officials that Congress will need to reverse at least some of the defense cuts imposed under the 2011 Budget Control Act if it wants to avoid weakening the military, the prospect of lawmakers reaching a deal to adjust the spending caps remains quite low …

Staffing Level of Navy to Remain Steady, Personnel Chief Says

  • March 7, 2014
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Despite the looming prospect of far-reaching changes to the armed forces, including reductions in force structure and adjustments to military compensation, the Navy will not be reducing its number of uniformed personnel, Vice Adm. Bill Moran, deputy chief of naval operations, said Wednesday. “I’m not anticipating having to cut people at all … The future is really bright for folks who want to continue to serve,” Moran, who also serves as chief of naval personnel, said in response to the first question during a worldwide all-hands call. He said the Navy expects to have a force of about 324,000 sailors in five years, the same as it does today …

Brigade’s Deactivation to Prompt Closure of Four Schools at Ft. Knox

  • March 7, 2014
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In a sign of things to come, especially for Army communities, Fort Knox will close four of its eight DOD schools for children this summer due to declining enrollment stemming from the loss of its only brigade combat team later this year. The Army is disbanding the 3rd Combat Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Knox as part of its plan to shrink its active component end strength by 80,000 soldiers through the deactivation of brigade combat teams at 10 U.S. installations. The drawdown would leave the Army with 490,000 troops by 2015, a level which would drop further under the Pentagon’s latest five-year spending plan …

Veterans Affairs Budget Would Receive Boost under FY’15 Request

  • March 6, 2014
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The Department of Veterans Affairs would be allocated $163.9 billion under President Obama’s fiscal 2015 budget request, a $10.1 billion increase over current funding levels. The proposal includes $1 billion to create a Veterans Job Corps, an initiative to put former service members to work as police officers, emergency response personnel and park rangers. Congress has rejected that plan each of the last two years, calling the idea too broad and expensive …

Cleanup Funding For Past BRAC Rounds Would Take Hit under FY’15 Proposal

  • March 6, 2014
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Funding to clean up installations closed during previous BRAC rounds would fall 40 percent to $270.1 million in fiscal 2015, under DOD’s latest budget request. If approved by Congress, the recommendation would continue a steep drop in funding for past base closure rounds since FY 2013. That year, Congress provided $759.6 million for cleanup and other closure costs associated with the five rounds of BRAC. This year, lawmakers allocated $451.4 million for the BRAC account …

Pentagon Paints Itself into Corner with Five-Year Spending Plan

  • March 5, 2014
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Top DOD officials had a difficult time Wednesday explaining to the Senate Armed Services Committee the logical inconsistency between a five-year budget that assumes $115 billion in relief from sequester cuts and the spending plan’s cuts in force structure they said could be avoided with the additional funding. On Tuesday, Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale told reporters that officials included in its FY 2015-2019 budget a cut in the Army’s active-duty end strength to 420,000 and a reduction to 10 aircraft carrier battle groups. That spending plan assumes that a significant portion of the sequester cuts slated for FY 2016 and beyond would be reversed, allowing the military to avoid some of the most far-reaching impacts of sequestration …

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